A 94-year-old man accused of shooting an apartment complex employee in January, prompting a Las Vegas police officer to fire at him, died of natural causes this week in police custody, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.
Robert Thomas, who turned 94 after his arrest on Jan. 2, died at University Medical Center on Tuesday while still in Metropolitan Police Department custody, police said. His death was ruled natural due to congestive heart failure with exacerbation, the coroner’s office said Friday.
On Jan. 2, Thomas entered the leasing officer of the Vista Del Valle apartments, 4051 W. Viking Road, apparently upset over water damage and flooding in his unit. Video released by Las Vegas police in January showed Thomas, wearing a black coat and a black hat, walk into the office and pull out a black 9 mm handgun.
A woman sitting at a desk near the door stood up and called 911 after Thomas shot a computer on the other side of the room.
Thomas eventually let the woman leave the office, but while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, Thomas shot a maintenance worker in the right leg, the footage showed.
Metro officer Ronald Hornyak, 45, arrived at the office with his partner as Thomas fired a second shot, hitting the maintenance worker in his other leg. Hornyak shot at Thomas through the office’s glass door, striking the lapel of Thomas’ jacket but leaving him uninjured, police have said.
The maintenance worker was treated at University Medical Center and released the day of the shooting.
Metro on Tuesday said Thomas was taken back to the hospital on Jan. 16, where he was “receiving medical treatment.”
Court records show that Thomas’ case was bound to District Court for a competency evaluation. A status check was scheduled for Friday, but Thomas died before the court appearance.
He was charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and three count of discharging a gun inside a building, court records show.